SOFIA – Any England players who walk off the pitch after suffering racist abuse should be punished if they breach a UEFA protocol, Bulgarian soccer chief Borislav Mihaylov said on Thursday.
Striker Tammy Abraham said on Tuesday that England players were ready to leave the pitch if subjected to racist abuse in Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic on Friday and Bulgaria in Sofia three days later.
Bulgarian supporters made monkey chants at visiting black players when England last travelled to Sofia for a European qualifier in 2011, prompting UEFA to fine the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) 40,000 euros ($44,072.00).
In an official letter to the European soccer body, the BFU president on Thursday expressed his "extreme disappointment" at the England players' comments.
He said if they did not respect UEFA's three-step protocol for racism, which can lead to the referee abandoning a match if warnings to the crowd do not stop the abuse, then that "should be punishable according to the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations."